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Publish Date : Sunday 16 July 2017 - 04:58
France Urges Lifting of Saudi-Led Sanctions Targeting Qatari Nationals
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (L) and his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani in Doha
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (L) and his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani in Doha
Islam Times - France has urged a Saudi-led group to lift sanctions targeting Qatari nationals in a bid to ease a month-long rift among Arab regimes allied to the West.
In his visit to the Qatari capital Doha on Saturday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said his country is "very concerned by the sudden deterioration" of the situation in the region.

"France calls for the lifting, as soon as possible, of the measures that affect the populations in particular, bi-national families that have been separated or students," Le Drian told reporters in Doha, after he met his counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

Le Drian also met with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, following the steps of British, German and US top diplomats who were in the Persian Gulf over the last few days but failed to solve the regional impasse.

He is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia later on Saturday and will visit Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

"France should be a facilitator in the mediation" led by Kuwait, Le Drian told reporters.

Kuwait is trying to mediate the dispute.

For his part, Sheikh Mohammed said that the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and its allies against Qatar are disrupting the regional effort to combat terrorism.

"Combating terrorism also cannot be through practicing political and intellectual terrorism against a state," Sheikh Mohammed said.

Since 5 June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, which they accuse of supporting extremist groups like Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, the Muslim Brotherhood and having close ties with neighboring Iran.

Qatar has defended itself against the accusation saying the groups are not extremist, while insisting on having good ties with Iran.

The Saudi-led block later issued demands that Qatar must meet before ties are restored including curtailing its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, shutting down the al-Jazeera TV channel, closing a Turkish military base in Doha and downgrading its ties with Iran. Qatar rejected the demands arguing they are illogical and infringe on its sovereignty.
Story Code: 653695